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looking for help with VN1500 Fuel Injection issue

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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 03:58 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: looking for help with VN1500 Fuel Injection issue Reply with quote

I've got a 2001 VN1500 Classic FI that runs great. The problem is that I have trouble starting it. I'm a carburetor guy, so I am lost with this fuel injection system. I will try to explain this the best I can, but since it's intermittent, it's hard...

It almost always starts fine the first time. It idles like it's on choke (carburetor guy, remember) for a few seconds and then drops the RPM down. It drops it too low though and dies. If I keep the throttle cracked open a small tad for a minute or so, though, when the RPM drops down, it's fine from there on out.

If I shut the bike off, though, and go to restart it - no matter how long or how short I wait - the bike will sometimes fire right up after a couple of revolutions. Sometimes, though, it will just spin over until it floods without ever hitting.

I had been pushing the start button as soon as I turned the ignition on so that the fuel pump didn't have time to push any fuel into the cylinders and that seemed to work - the bike fired every time, albeit it usually took a few revolutions.

Today, though, I thought I'd idle the bike up a tad to compensate for the dying when it idles down. Well, that fixed that, but then, it started doing the spinning over without starting thing. Before it flooded, I dropped the idle speed back down and bam! It started right up.

So it seems that with the throttle cracked open to far, the bike won't start and with it not cracked open far enough, the bike won't idle until it's warmed up. The problem is that there is no in between.

Can someone, anyone with experience with this bike specifically or fuel injection bikes in general offer me any advice?! This is driving me crazy!

Plus... it doesn't look good for a small engine mechanic to be riding a bike that won't start! lol
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Last edited by rebeltaz on 21:54 - 14 Sep 2021; edited 1 time in total
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weasley
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PostPosted: 06:59 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don’t know the bike, but fuel injection systems don’t fire fuel into the cylinders when they prime. They pressurise the fuel system so that the injectors have high pressure ready for the start.
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davebike
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PostPosted: 07:31 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has this suddenly come on?
Has the bike been standing? new to you?

I would wonder when the fuel filter was last changed and whether the tank is clean

Next step would be injector cleaner a tank of 97 and a fast run or Injectors out and ultrasonic cleaned

I don't think plugs but I check them and the Air cleaner unless you know they're good
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yen_powell
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PostPosted: 08:11 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm on my third fuel injected bike and I have found the following

Let the bike have its moment of importance going though its checky stuff before starting it.

Don't start it and then turn it off until it's warm if you can help it.

When starting don't let the starter button go or touch the throttle till it has really decided it has started.

If you do actually bugger it up and it is just spinning over with no sign of starting for ages then turn it off, give it a few minutes for the battery to recover then open the throttle all the way and hold it there whilst spinning the starter motor. It's a messy way to start but it usually works in an emergency.
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jaffa90
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PostPosted: 10:33 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could be the air temp sensor reducing the amount of time / fuel on cold start.
Also when were the valve clearances checked?
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 10:48 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gap and clean the spark plugs. Not sure that'll fix it but it'll keep you busy for 5 mins Smile
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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 20:24 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

davebike wrote:
Has this suddenly come on?
Has the bike been standing? new to you?

I would wonder when the fuel filter was last changed and whether the tank is clean

Next step would be injector cleaner a tank of 97 and a fast run or Injectors out and ultrasonic cleaned

I don't think plugs but I check them and the Air cleaner unless you know they're good


I got the bike several years ago. It came into the shop for some work and the guy never picked it up. It sat for about a year then, but that was a few years ago. It's been doing this pretty much ever since.

Tank is squeaky clean and I have tried running three bottles of cleaner through it - not at one time, of course. The air filter and spark plugs are new, although I would say that the plugs look like it's running a little rich.
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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 20:29 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

yen_powell wrote:

Don't start it and then turn it off until it's warm if you can help it.

When starting don't let the starter button go or touch the throttle till it has really decided it has started.

If you do actually bugger it up and it is just spinning over with no sign of starting for ages then turn it off, give it a few minutes for the battery to recover then open the throttle all the way and hold it there whilst spinning the starter motor. It's a messy way to start but it usually works in an emergency.


Oh, no... I don't let go of the button until it starts. When it starts, it starts fine. It will sit there and idle high for maybe five or ten seconds and then when it drops to normal idle speed, it'll die until it's fully warmed up. It's like it's dropping the speed down prematurely.

As for throttle wide open... I have tried that when it was acting up like that and that just made matters worse in my case. It flooded it even faster. I wound up having to wait ten minutes or more - stranded in a parking lot - before I could get it started.
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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 20:32 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaffa90 wrote:
Could be the air temp sensor reducing the amount of time / fuel on cold start.
Also when were the valve clearances checked?
I didn't know about an air temperature sensor. I'll look to see if I can find one. [EDIT] Nope... the only references to temperature I can find in the service manual have to do with coolant temperature,

As for the valves, I thought that too, but this one is hydraulic. No adjustment is possible.
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Last edited by rebeltaz on 21:50 - 14 Sep 2021; edited 1 time in total
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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 20:32 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
Gap and clean the spark plugs. Not sure that'll fix it but it'll keep you busy for 5 mins Smile

lol ... been there done that. Several times. I think I'm over busy work Smile
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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 21:53 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thinking out loud here... I think the exhaust pipes on this are after market (Vance Hines). I know that it pops more on deceleration - I always assumed because of this. Is it possible that a reduction in back pressure is causing both of these issues as well? And if that's the case, there isn't anything I can do about it, is there?
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WD Forte
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PostPosted: 22:37 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from RTFM and WD
I'd start by looking for stored fault codes before
fiddling with stuff willy nilly.
The VN1500 appears to have a diagnostic socket ( 4 wire)
and a self diagnostic connector using a single lead
which uses a method similar to Honda PGM-FI,
you switch off the bike
ground the self diagnostic lead
then switch on again and count
flashes which will flash out a double digit code
ie
14
1 flash ( three second pause) 4 flashes
for coolant temp sensor fault
1-3 for air temp sensor and so on.

Or buy a diagnostic tester and plug that in
it could save lot of arseache and better than swap and hope
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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 23:15 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

WD Forte wrote:
Apart from RTFM and WD
I'd start by looking for stored fault codes before
fiddling with stuff willy nilly.
The VN1500 appears to have a diagnostic socket ( 4 wire)
and a self diagnostic connector using a single lead
which uses a method similar to Honda PGM-FI,
you switch off the bike
ground the self diagnostic lead
then switch on again and count
flashes which will flash out a double digit code
ie
14
1 flash ( three second pause) 4 flashes
for coolant temp sensor fault
1-3 for air temp sensor and so on.

Or buy a diagnostic tester and plug that in
it could save lot of arseache and better than swap and hope


Well, I did RTFM, but I don't know what WD is.

In the service manual I have, I did a search on the words "diagnostic" and "code" and didn't get any results. If there is a self-diagnostic mode, that would definitely make my life a little easier!
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Kawasaki Jimbo
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PostPosted: 23:40 - 14 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like it’s running rich. Is that new air filter the same as the one taken out, and is it OE?
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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 01:17 - 15 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kawasaki Jimbo wrote:
Sounds like it’s running rich. Is that new air filter the same as the one taken out, and is it OE?


It's an aftermarket filter, but it's the second one I've had on there and it looked like the same one that came out.

I can believe that it's running rich, but I have no idea how to correct that on a fuel injected system!
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weasley
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PostPosted: 08:07 - 15 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps the idle speed control valves are closing too early? There’s one per cylinder apparently, controlled by the ECU with input from a coolant temperature sensor. Or it could be the TPS? Or maybe the throttle body just needs a good clean?
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Weisse Schlange
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PostPosted: 09:05 - 15 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check the fault codes.
Sounds like an idle air control valve issue to me.
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Robby
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PostPosted: 16:44 - 16 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

20 year old bike with rudimentary (compared to now) fuel injection.

Two bits I would look at:
- For the general trouble with starting, how old is the battery? I know some Harleys can be a pain to start with an even slightly knackered battery, particularly anything higher compression. Not enough electricity left over to do everything else well.

- For the misbehaving, check the wiring and connectors to any sensors you can find. They mostly work on doing doing something to increase/decrease the resistance in a circuit and the ECU interprets that to decide how much fuel to provide. If a corroded wire or connector is increasing the resistance, the ECU is going to do the wrong thing.
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rebeltaz
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PostPosted: 18:17 - 16 Sep 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

WD Forte wrote:
Apart from RTFM and WD
I'd start by looking for stored fault codes before
fiddling with stuff willy nilly.
The VN1500 appears to have a diagnostic socket ( 4 wire)
and a self diagnostic connector using a single lead
which uses a method similar to Honda PGM-FI,
you switch off the bike
ground the self diagnostic lead
then switch on again and count
flashes which will flash out a double digit code
ie
14
1 flash ( three second pause) 4 flashes
for coolant temp sensor fault
1-3 for air temp sensor and so on.

Or buy a diagnostic tester and plug that in
it could save lot of arseache and better than swap and hope


Weisse Schlange wrote:
Check the fault codes.
Sounds like an idle air control valve issue to me.


OK... so I finally found the fault code in the manual (helps if I look in the RIGHT manual). I grounded the terminal but for some reason, no matter what I try, the ECU will not enter self-diagnostic mode. The FI light never blinks.

Robby wrote:
20 year old bike with rudimentary (compared to now) fuel injection.

Two bits I would look at:
- For the general trouble with starting, how old is the battery? I know some Harleys can be a pain to start with an even slightly knackered battery, particularly anything higher compression. Not enough electricity left over to do everything else well.

- For the misbehaving, check the wiring and connectors to any sensors you can find. They mostly work on doing doing something to increase/decrease the resistance in a circuit and the ECU interprets that to decide how much fuel to provide. If a corroded wire or connector is increasing the resistance, the ECU is going to do the wrong thing.

Well, the battery isn't exactly new, but I can try that. Wiring seems ok...
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